Technology is continuously changing the way information is accessed, and the proliferation of Massive Open Online Courses represents a viable new trend in education. High school and college students can use MOOCs to explore new subjects and get ahead in areas of interest, but because the open courses are not limited to current students, anyone can take a course if interested. While these courses will not replace more traditional college classes, they do allow everyone the opportunity to learn about new topics from some of the world's most recognized college professors.
For years, colleges and universities have offered different models of distance education, from correspondence courses to lectures delivered by video or cable TV. As technology has developed and more people have gained access to computers, tablets, smart phones, and the Internet, distance education has expanded in new ways. A new trend in education is the Massive Open Online Class, known as the MOOC. In fact, "The New York Times" named 2012 "the year of the MOOC," as these large open classes began to have significant effects on higher education.
Which Schools Offer Classes?
Colleges and universities continue to add online offerings, so the list of buy essay writing service offering MOOCs is ever-changing. Some of the more prestigious forerunners in this type of course delivery include MIT, Stanford, Duke, UCLA, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, Yale, and Rice.
What Is the Student's Role?
Unlike older programs that offered lectures on tape or cable TV, MOOCs seek to incorporate student participation. Class may include traditional lectures, reading, and questions, but student participation is encouraged through crowd sourcing and online forums.
How Big Is Massive?
For years, online programs were limited in size because of technological constraints. Recent developments in course management programs have allowed universities to open classes to students from all over the world. Recent classes offered by major universities have had enrollments of more than 100,000 students.
Open: Can Anyone Register?
Many universities have viewed Massive Open Online Courses as an opportunity to open higher learning to anyone with access to the Internet. Most courses are offered at no charge, and participants do not need to apply for admission to the university or an online program in order to register. Anyone with the interest in a topic and the technology needed to participate may register.
How Can Participants Access Classes Online?
Each college, university, or organization offering an open online class may choose its own method of delivery. Some of the best-known course-delivery platforms include Coursera, EdX, and Udacity. Once registered, students access all lectures, forums, and discussions online.
What Is the Cost?
Most programs offer MOOCs for free: Students register and participate at no cost. Some institutions charge a nominal fee for registration or to provide a certificate of completion. In contrast with traditional college classes, which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, MOOCs are intended to be accessible to everyone regardless of their financial status.
Can Participants Earn College Credits?
Currently, MOOCs are intended to allow people from anywhere around the world to access ideas and information from professors at leading institutions, but these courses are for personal enrichment. Students can earn a certificate of completion, but they generally do not earn college credits by finishing their Massive Open Online Courses. Some universities are experimenting with offering courses for credit, but students will have to apply to the programs and pay for the courses.